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Ad land’s Young Guns: Devkey Advani, Gozoop

Devkey Advani, Associate Art Director, Gozoop, leads the design team in the FMCG, Entertainment & Media vertical at Gozoop360 degree brand design and branding for Star TV, Mad Over Donuts,  Mahindra Lifespaces, HRX, Arijit Singh, Hypercity, ABFRL, The Project by Pizza Express. 

Her vast experience in the field of design ranges from branding and print to digital marketing. With a strong belief that the heart and soul of any business is creativity and innovation, she is ever ready to learn new things and is always up for a challenge!

What does it takes to climb up the ladder in design? Here’s Devkey Advani in her own words... 

How did you get into the role you are serving?
I am always looking for a creative challenge. After studying at a design school in London, I majored in Fashion and quickly moved to Graphics and Branding. I started my own online gifting venture and realised the power of Digital and soon joined the fastest growing digital company in India. I realised that creativity being my strongest strength and with my background in design language of a brand, brand strategy came to me very easily and I enjoyed it. 

At Gozoop today, I handle multiple brands in the real estate, media, entertainment and FMCG verticals. I not only plan out the brands’ look and feel on digital, but I am also a part of their overall creative strategy and campaign building. 

 What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
I am always trying to be better than our last project! This is something I strive for everyday and so does my team. Although I realise it isn’t exactly a skill set, it is an intrinsic part of my work method. I believe that creativity isn’t limited to a designation and even an intern can spark a brilliant insight/ creative thought. 

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
I have had the chance of being a part of some really great work. Every campaign that I have worked on has taught me so much and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next challenge – to learn more and create more great work. 

 One that stands out for me was the campaign we ran for Green Home developers, Mahindra Lifespaces’ ‘I Am Green Army’, to strengthen their association with sustainable and eco-friendly communities. Basis the insight that it takes at least 18 to 254 days to form a habit, Mahindra Lifespaces devised the Green Army initiative as an 18-day challenge

Once we had all the research and content in place, I made a master creative that set the creative tonality to execute the campaign. 

We kicked off this campaign with a motion graphics video explaining the contest in fun, engaging and creative look. We also created 18 GIFs for the 18 Challenges – each of the creatives addressed a problem and our challenge to help create a change in the right direction. 

This campaign was particularly fun to work on as we took up the entire visual communication for it, including offline/ print artwork as well. 

We must have done something right, as our work was greatly appreciated by the client and we won 2 awards for the campaign – A Gold at the Asian Customer Engagement Forum & Awards: ACEF, and Silver at the Lighthouse Insights Digital Marketing Awards. 

While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
Creativity runs wild and it is extremely important to tame it. It is crucial that we find the right balance between creativity and the communication. Once we have cracked the communication, we huddle with the strategy team and pen down a thorough research about the company/ product, competitors, current presence, etc. This really helps to streamline my thoughts and the personality of the brand that I will be designing for. And finally, after all the technical download, I can start the creative look and feel. 

Having said that, we almost never have the luxury of time in a digital marketing agency, which really pushes me to think on my feet. I think it’s wonderful and always keeps things exciting. 

Icons in digital you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
Tony Futura - I love his bold and quirky design style. A lot of his work is influenced by serious matters too and he executes them in his unique style. It has pushed me to look at things differently and enter a magical world or surrealism. 

Christoph Niemann - He is just gold. His thought process is reflected in his work, so beautifully. For a creative person, I feel this is one of the most difficult stages to reach. 

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
I try to maintain a good balance in leisure and work. For example, these are a few things I do to make this happen:

  • Read. Marketing/ branding news from India and all over.
  • Plan out my day with my team and designate work and timelines for the day.
  • Do a quick quality check on all platforms my brands are on.
  • Listen to music.
  • Go down and get some fresh air.

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Absolutely, this industry has a lot of potential and we are seeing the digital advertising industry grow every year. I always have to learn more and more to keep up with the industry and love every bit of that process! 

What does it take to succeed in a career like digital?
Any industry requires you to be high on talent, skill and will. In digital, too, you need all that, but at 2 times the speed! 

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Digital advertising is a very dynamic space to be in. Be open to learning new things on the job and have a ‘Whatever it takes’ attitude. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Ultimately, be a creative director with an agency. My goal right now is to take up new challenges and understand the brand from the branding and strategy lens. 

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
As long as I continue to get to do great work, I am sure I will land up in a great work place as well!

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